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An Executive Guide to IFRS: Content, Costs and Benefits to Business by Peter Walton

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What do they think?

I have made the point that there is no such thing as a group ideology within the IASB, and that the standards emanating from the Board can move through 180º depending upon where the voters in the middle ground settle. You cannot therefore deduce a coherent group position by looking at outputs. With that very important caveat, I am going to offer a little subjective analysis of some underlying notions that have more or less been upheld during the first decade of the IASB’s activity.

It is a central part of the FASB’s mandate that the Board should write standards that are consistent with its Conceptual Framework. There are strong historical reasons for this. The FASB was created as a result of a crisis in US standard-setting where the standard-setter, run by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA), was perceived to be in the hands of the large audit firms. It was thought to issue standards that met the needs of interest groups and did not give consistent accounting.

Leaving aside the question of whether those views were justified, in the early 1970s the AICPA set up two committees: the Wheat Committee, to look at what kind of structure an independent standard-setter should have; and the Trueblood Committee, to look at what framework would give consistent standards. The outcome was the FASB and its Conceptual Framework.

there is no such thing as a group ideology within the IASB

The IASB’s predecessor (the IASC) eventually created a Conceptual ...

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